June 7, 2006
VAN NUYS, Calif. –
Whether it’s on the field or in the classroom, Florida State University softball players Veronica Wootson and Natasha Jacob have warranted a lot of national attention recently. The duo added more accolades on Wednesday (June 7) when they were named to the 2006 Easton-Bell Sports All-America Teams.
Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) picked up a First-Team honor, while Jacob (Coppell, Texas) was selected for a Third-Team award. Recently, Wootson was named Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-Team All-American, while Jacob picked up CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine First-Team Academic All-America honors.
“Veronica and Natasha were two of the reasons for our success this year and this is great honor for not only them, but our entire program,” FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “Natasha was the spark for our offense and she really set the table, she’s going to be tough to replace. Veronica came through with a lot of key hits and some big RBIs when we needed them; she’s really setting herself up for a great senior season”
This year was Wootson’s best by the far as she posted a career-high .360 average which was the fifth-best in the league. She finished the year as the ACC leader, and ranked second nationally, with nine triples. Overall, she ranked in the conference top ten in nine offensive categories while rating in seven categories during ACC games.
Even though she has only played three seasons, Wootson is already ranked in the Florida State career top ten in several categories. Going into next year, she rates fourth for home runs (18) and triples (18), sixth in slugging percentage (.494) and ninth for runs scored (138) and RBIs (104). She is on track to break FSU all-time marks in several categories or rank in the top three.
“I didn’t change my approach to the game from the last two years, but the difference this year was that I was able to relax a little bit more,” Wootson said. “Last year I may have put too much pressure on myself, but this year we had great line up from top to bottom and I was able to relax and be more selective at the plate.”
This season Jacob stamped her name in the record books while capping one of the best careers in Florida State and ACC history. She set a new school and league record with her 252 at-bats and 28-game hitting streak that is the 11th-longest in NCAA history. She led the ACC with 94 hits – the third highest single-season total in FSU history. Jacob was tops on the team, third in the ACC, with a career-best .373 batting average. She ranked in the league’s top ten in six offensive categories.
On the FSU career charts she rates fourth in at-bats (795) and hits (271), six for stolen bases (69), eighth for games played (264), runs (147) and walks (74) as well as ninth in batting average (.341) and tenth for triples (15). Her hits total is the seventh-best in ACC history and her 69 swipes is the ninth-highest total.
“This is really an honor and just a great way to cap off a great senior season,” Jacob said. “The team really came together, especially at the end of the season, and this is really just the icing on the cake. Going into this year my goal to be better than last year and do what ever I could to help them team.”
In addition, the school’s softball media guide, produced by the Florida State Sports Information Office, was cited as one of five “Cover Teams of the Year.”
Both Wootson and Jacob picked up First-Team All-ACC and NFCA All-Southeast Region accolades. Florida State advanced to the NCAA Tournament Super Regional, played in the ACC Tournament title game and finished the year with a 44-30 record.